Flex fuel grand opening

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. A new blend of ethanol is driving people to the gas pumps south of Gothenburg.

"You can choose whether you want 15 percent, 40 percent or 85 percent, so a lot of people like to experiment," said Nebraska Environmental Trust Executive Director Mark Brohman. "I've heard from different people that different engines run better or worse on different percentages, so you can experiment with your engine and see what works our best for you."

Blue Heron's Renewable Flex Fuel Plaza in Gothenburg unveiled its new ethanol blends that were recently approved by the FDA.

Barry and Gwen McDiarmid were approached by the State Ethanol Board about adding the new pumps in December.

"They were unbranded and we were able to get ethanol locally at a great price and pass it on through the consumers," said State Ethanol Board Scott McPheeters.

The pumps were purchased with the help from the Access Ethanol Nebraska Grant Program.

"We've had quite a number of projects installed in the Omaha area where there is obviously a lot of drivers, the same in Lincoln," said Nebraska Energy Office Director David Bracht.

Officials say Thursday's grand opening is a demonstration of what is yet to come.

"We are seeing ethanol increasingly in China and India; those two rapidly growing countries really have air quality issues that are fantastic export opportunities for Nebraska ethanol and for American ethanol," Bracht says."

If you would like more information about these projects you can go to the Nebraska Energy website at neo.ne.gov.